The popular “meel ka paththar”. They were such an essential part of travel until huge green mile markers- just a variation of the former, or, the Google Maps happened. Although you do spot these milestones on roadsides even today, forsaken and abandoned.
Years ago, when highways hadn’t really taken over in India, I would always be on a look out for milestones. I never had the patience to sit through long journeys and was constantly asking an elder how much more time would it take to reach the destination. I understand it must have been so bugging because after patiently responding to me umpteen times, I was asked to look for milestones.
I think I also took these milestones a little too personally. You know how the word spills over to that important stage of development in your life. And the amusing part is that I was always in a hurry to reach my personal milestones. Honestly speaking, I think we have some pre-conceived ideas and we grow up with them. We prepare a kind of checklist.
Own a house. Check
It’s like a “not so fancy” bucket list. Anyway, there was another place where I spotted these milestones. On the birth cards of my children.
Four months…Roll over
Six months…Sit without support
Four to eight months…teething
My son was pretty fast to reach his milestones. From teething to walking and talking, he was earlier than scheduled. On the contrary, my daughter was a little slow. And this became worrisome when even after ten months there were no signs of teething. Impatient for milestones, as I had always been, I started frequenting the pediatrician.
She was about to turn one in a fortnight and it was really getting on to be too much. This time when I reached the clinic, I was seething.
‘I don’t think you are taking this seriously enough. The child doesn’t have even one tooth in her mouth!’ I told the doctor.
He understood the underlying worry in my tone. He smiled and answered, ‘Ma’am have you ever seen a four or five-year-old without teeth? Aa jayenge. (They will come in time)’
…And they did. On her first birthday, I spotted a little white pearl ready to sprout. This episode turned my “milestone fixation” upside down. Now, if she wasn’t learning numbers fast enough, I knew what to tell myself.
There is another thing that I learnt about milestones. Their heads are of different colours, depending on whether you spot them on highways or country roads. In short, they depend on your journey.
Made me think. Ultimately, the routes we choose are different. So are the destinations. How then, can our milestones be the same!
This post is a part of #Blogchatter’s AtoZ Challenge 2019. My other posts in the series may be read here.